If you’ve enjoyed the intoxicating aromas of essential oils in your home, you know how they can help you relax and recharge. Many of us use a diffuser, lamp ring, or other device to fill the air with the sweet scent of lavender, lemon, or other popular oils.
You may have dabbed your favorite scents on a bracelet or other personal item to calm your mind and smell good. No matter how you get your essential oil fix, it’s comforting to know you’re hooked on safe and natural aromatherapy!
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Essential oils are called “essential” because the oils are plant extracts that capture the essence of a plant’s fragrance. But these gifts from nature may also be essential for safe and natural cleaning, deodorizing, and disinfecting when healthy cleaning is the priority.
The aromatic qualities are evident, but there is so much more to essential oils. Many have antiviral, antifungal, and other antimicrobial properties that are safe and effective. Here’s how to enjoy the revitalizing aromas and many other benefits more often.
Clean Up Your Beauty Tools
Eucalyptus oil’s cleaning and disinfecting properties make it ideal for cleaning makeup brushes and applicators, hairbrushes, combs, and even toothbrushes. Mix two cups of water, six ounces of distilled white vinegar, and 25 drops of eucalyptus oil in a container.
Submerge your hairbrushes, makeup applicators, and other items and let them soak for 30 minutes. The essential oil solution will break down buildup and get rid of germs. Remove the items, rinse off the residue, and let them air dry.
Quickly Disinfect and Deodorize Plush Toys
Stuffed animals and plush toys can get pretty nasty, but most kids don’t want them out of sight long enough to wash them! Here’s a quick and easy way to disinfect and deodorize plush toys. Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with a couple of drops each of eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree oil in a bowl.
Place the plush toy in a sealable bag, pour in the mixture, and shake it up. Put the bag in the freezer for 30 minutes to finish killing off the germs. Remove the stuffed animal from the bag and shake off any excess powder over a trash can. This sounds like a harsh experience for your child’s stuffed toys, but it works!
Freshen Footwear on the Fly
Stinky shoes and other funky-smelling footwear can make your feet and home smell less than fresh. Essential oils can shrink the stink and replace it with the sweet smell of your favorite aroma. For a quick fix, put a few drops of essential oil on a couple of cotton balls and put one in each shoe. Leave them overnight, and the offensive odors should be long gone.
Mix up a deodorizing spray and use it often to keep the whole family’s shoes fresh as a daisy. Mix four ounces of water with 10 drops each of rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus oils in a spray bottle. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of these three oils eliminate odors at the source. Give smelly shoes a quick spritz whenever they need refreshing and enjoy a cleaner-smelling home.
Get Out of a Sticky Situation
Orange oil is an ideal alternative to commercial citrus-based adhesive removers that can contain unsafe ingredients. Dab the sticky area with a cotton ball soaked in orange oil and wipe away the mess. Orange oil works well on other sticky messes like label glue, tape residue, and other adhesives. Like many essential oils, orange oil is multi-talented and can also be used as an antibacterial and an ant-repellant!
Fight Fungi and Kill Germs
Tea tree oil has antiviral, antifungal, and antiseptic properties that are safe and healthy remedies for everything from skin conditions to dandruff. Tea tree oil is powerful and should be mixed with carrier oil for skin applications. When diluted properly, the oil can help relieve eczema, dry skin, and the resulting itching and irritation.
The same properties that help tea tree oil fight skin problems also combine for a safe, natural household disinfectant spray. Mix five drops of tea tree oil and one cup each of water and white vinegar in a spray bottle. Whenever you need to wipe out germs, spray the area and let the solution sit for at least 30 minutes before wiping it off.
If you’re into green cleaning, you likely use natural household products like baking soda, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. These everyday items and essential oils are safe and healthy alternatives to harsh commercial cleaners and disinfectants.
Well, we all know aromatherapy is really for you and your family, but a fresh-smelling and healthy home is like icing on the cake. In addition to cleaning and disinfecting with essential oils, you can use them to refresh the carpet, laundry, and about anything else you like!
Give Your Carpet Some Love
Dirt, dust, and who-knows-what-else is down in that carpet and can create a musty, dirty odor. Essential oils won’t replace your vacuum or carpet cleaner, but they can eliminate the odor between cleanings. Mix ten drops of your favorite fragrance and a cup of baking soda in a sealable container. Let the concoction sit for a day, then sprinkle the aromatic powder on your offending carpet. If you use too much, you can vacuum up the excess.
Let the Sun Be Your Diffuser
When essential oils are heated, they vaporize, and the little particles float up into the air. Wipe down window sills, counters, and other areas that get sun with water and lemon essential oil.
Mix a quart of water and 10 drops of essential oil in a sprayer and damp-wipe the surfaces. When the sun hits the surface, a burst of scent enters the air and refreshes the room.
Get creative with essential oils for cleaning and other uses around the house. You can enjoy a healthier home and relaxing scents knowing these natural alternatives are safe for you and your family.